Detoxing from cannabis is healthy for you. A break from THC is akin to a tolerance break, allowing your body to go back to normal instead of making you crave for higher dosages. Flushing cannabinoids from the kidneys may also be necessary if you are to undergo drug testing.
The best way to go about it is to abstain. Over the next few days, your body naturally expels marijuana compounds until you are completely clear. It helps to incorporate healthy lifestyle tweaks such as drinking lots of water to aid in the purification process. You could also opt for delectable, cleansing drinks that hasten the cleansing of the kidneys.
The Best Detox Drinks To Flush Your Kidneys
Marijuana detox entails expelling THC metabolites from the body tissues. A simple and effective way of doing this is to abstain from weed for a period. To aid the body in the cleansing process, introduce lifestyle and dietary changes, such as being physically active, eating nourishing meals, and staying hydrated.
How long THC remains in the body, though, depends on several factors, including:
- Frequency and quantity of marijuana use
- Eating habits
- Body fat percentage
- Exercise routine
Based on these factors, you will have to adjust the duration of the detox period accordingly. You also need to take into account the reason for detoxifying in the first place. If planning a tolerance break, note that the cannabinoid receptors start recovering within two days of abstinence, and will do so for the next four weeks (D’Souza, et al. 2016).
On the other hand, if you are preparing for a drug test, you may need more time because THC can remain detectable in the urine for up to four weeks after use (Johansson & Halldin 1989). And for heavy, long-term use, marijuana compounds may linger in the system for up to 90 days (Verstraete 2004).
As mentioned, one way of boosting the detox process is to hydrate, which makes it easier for the body to get rid of THC and its metabolites by inducing you to urinate. Ideally, you should meet the recommended intake of 6 to 8 glasses of water a day. If you want more variety, consider consuming other beverages alongside plain water. In particular, go for herbal teas and fruit juices that help flush out the kidneys and enhance its health and function.
Note: If taking a urine drug test, avoid these kidney-cleansing drinks a few days prior. They can wash out the kidney, affecting the specific gravity, density, and the amount of creatinine in the urine. Abnormal changes in these measures may indicate contamination. It may alert doctors or medical technicians, making them suspect you of attempting to cheat the test.
Option 1: Cleansing With Kidney-Friendly Teas
Many herbal teas or tisanes can improve overall kidney health and function. Some infusions, in particular, help detox and cleanse the kidneys.
Sambong (Blumea balsamifera) is an aromatic shrub commonly found in tropical countries, including the Philippines, India, and Africa. In herbal medicine, it is primarily used as a diuretic or a water pill, which assists the kidney in releasing more salts into the urine. This makes it ideal for the prevention and treatment of urinary tract disease or kidney stones.
Kidney stones usually consist of calcium oxalate crystals, particularly calcium oxalate monohydrate (COM). Sambong extract helps by decreasing the size and preventing the accumulation of COM crystals (Montealegre & Leon 2017). This, in turn, can potentially inhibit the formation of kidney stones.
Products To Try:
- Sambong Herbal Tea by Golden Spoon
Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) is an herbaceous perennial plant with yellow flowers. It thrives in the moist, temperate regions in the Northern Hemisphere. For many gardeners, this weedy species is the bane of their existence. Not for traditional herbal medicine practitioners, though, as this plant provides many benefits – most notably its ability to promote kidney and urinary tract function. Dandelion leaves, in particular, have diuretic effects.
During a four-day study period, healthy volunteers ingested 8 ml dandelion extracts, self-monitoring their fluid intake, and urine output (Clare, Conroy, & Spelman 2009). Five hours after the administration of the first dose, participants experienced a significant increase in urinary frequency. Moreover, there was an increase in excretion ratio within five hours after the second dose. These findings confirmed the potential of dandelion as a diuretic agent for humans.
In another study, researchers found extracts of taraxasterol and dandelion to have an anti-crystallization property (Clare, Conroy, & Spelman 2009). The results give more credence on the dandelion’s ability to hinder kidney stone formation.
Products To Try:
- Organic Dandelion Root Tea by Buddha Teas
- Organic Dandelion SuperHerb Tea by Republic of Tea
- Dandelion Leaf and Root by Traditional Medicinals
Hydrangea – also known as Hortensia – is a flowering shrub native to Asia and America. Its delightful flowers are either rounded or flattened, and typically come in white, pink, blue, or lavender. Traditionally, people use it to treat kidney stones and other conditions.
Its effectiveness was investigated when researchers pre-treated mice with the extracts of Hydrangea paniculata (HP) thrice before inducing a septic acute kidney injury (Zhang, et al. 2017). Several tests and analyses showed that HP had a protective effect against kidney damage. This activity is attributed to the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of the plant.
Products To Try:
- Kidney Cleanse Tea by Dr. Clark Store
4. Stinging Nettle
Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) is a perennial plant that can be found all over the world, including North America. It is known for producing a stinging sensation upon contact due to hairy trichomes coating the leaves and the stems. Since ancient times, this plant has been used mainly as a treatment for kidney and urinary tract disorders.
Its efficacy is due to the presence of phenolic compounds, including flavonoids and polyphenols (Carvalho, et al. 2017). These naturally-occurring plant metabolites have strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity, which can help combat oxidative stress.
Oxidative stress (OS), which refers to the imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants in the body, has been implicated in kidney disease (Daenen, et al. 2018). It may not only exacerbate the condition but lead to various health complications as well. Hence, by protecting the body against OS, stinging nettle can help prevent or slow down the progression of kidney disease.
Products To Try:
- Organic Nettle Leaf by Arbor Teas
- Organic Nettle Leaf Tea by Buddha Teas
- Organic Nettle Leaf Tea by Traditional Medicinals
Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is a flowering plant originating from Southeast Asia. It is widely known for its aromatic rhizomes – also called ginger roots – which are used both as a spice and herbal medicine. It contains a host of potent compounds, particularly gingerols, which are responsible for its fragrance, flavor, and therapeutic benefits. While revered for its anti-inflammatory properties, research suggests that it may also help protect the kidney.
Oxidative stress is linked to ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury in the kidney (Uz, et al. 2009). In one study, feeding rats with ginger before the I/R process resulted in a reduction in renal damage. It indicates that ginger exhibited renoprotective effects, which is likely due to its radical scavenging and antioxidant activities.
Researchers also assessed the protective effects of ginger extracts against nephrotoxicity or kidney toxicity caused by carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) in rats (Hamed, Ali, & El-Rigal 2012). After a series of experiments, the results showed that ginger could help treat CCl4-induced nephropathy. This activity was ascribed to radical scavenging, enhanced kidney function, inhibition of inflammatory mediators, and normalized histopathological architecture of the kidneys. Such findings reinforced the therapeutic potential of ginger against renal injury.
Products To Try:
Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a flowering plant related to ginger. Native to India and Southeast Asia, it is grown for its rhizomes, which are dried then ground into a mustard-colored powder. It has long been used to ease inflammation, arthritis, breathing difficulties, and other conditions. The medicinal benefits of turmeric can be credited to its active compounds called curcuminoids – most notably curcumin.
Like ginger, studies show that turmeric may also help protect the kidney.
One review brought to light the inhibitory effect of turmeric/ curcumin on cytokines and TGF-β production, which play a role in the onset of chronic kidney disease (CKD) (Khajehdehi 2012). This makes the plant a possible treatment for CKD.
Researchers also evaluated the effects of curcumin on inflammation, oxidative stress, and apoptosis – all of which are involved in CKD (Ali, et al. 2017). After being subjected to adenine-induced renal damage, lab rats were treated with the compound. Based on the data gathered, curcumin decreased inflammation and oxidative stress.
Products To Try:
- Turmeric Three Roots Tea by Numi Organic
- Turmeric Ginger Tea by Rishi Tea
- Turmeric Spice Herbal Tisane by Vahdam Teas
7. Marshmallow Root
Marshmallow root (Althaea officinalis) is a perennial herb that is indigenous to Europe, Northern Africa, and Western Asia. For thousands of years, it has been used in traditional herbal medicine to relieve respiratory, digestive, and skin conditions. Its mucilage or thick, gooey secretion, in particular, is packed with healing benefits.
Marshmallow has a diuretic effect (Valizadeh, Hemmati, Houshmand, Bayat, & Bahadoram 2015). By expelling excess fluid, it can help cleanse the kidneys and the bladder.
Products To Try:
- Organic Marshmallow Tea by Buddha Teas
- Marshmallow Root Tea by Mountain Rose Herbs
- Marshmallow Root, Organic Cut-and-Sift by Oregon’s Wild Harvest
Option 2: Fruit Juices
Fruit juices are not only tasty. They can also aid the kidney in flushing out THC and other substances from the body. You can either prepare these beverages from fresh fruits or simply buy bottled ones. If it is the latter, make sure to read the label as some products contain unhealthy amounts of sugar.
1. Cranberry Juice
Cranberries are small, red fruits known for their sharp and tart flavor. For this reason, it is rarely eaten raw and prepared as juice or fruit blends instead. More importantly, it could be a potential preventive measure for lower urinary tract infections (UTIs) (Hisano, Bruschini, Nicodemo, & Srougi 2012).
To prove, twenty women with recurrent UTIs consumed sweetened, dried cranberries once a day for two weeks (Burleigh, et al. 2013). Seventeen subjects experienced a decrease in the incidence of UTI over the next six months. It appears to substantiate the previous findings.
When looking for commercial juices, ensure that it is derived from pure cranberry juice – not a cocktail containing other fruits or juice made from concentrates. Also, steer clear of products that have been sweetened with added sugars.
Products To Try:
- Organic Pure Cranberry by Lakewood Organic
- 100% Juice Cranberry by Ocean Spray
- Organic Just Cranberry Juice by R.W. Knudsen Family
2. Grape Juice
A grape is a berry that has long been a mainstay in the food industry. It is often used to make jams, jellies, raisins, wines, and juices. Resveratrol – a plant compound with potent antioxidant properties – is found in higher concentrations in grape skins and seeds.
Resveratrol may exert renal protective effects, mainly due to its radical scavenging activity (Kitada & Koya 2013). In particular, it could address several types of renal damage, including diabetic nephropathy, ischemia-reperfusion injury, drug-induced injury, sepsis-related injury, and many more. This makes it a promising adjunct treatment and preventive method for kidney injury.
An analysis of current in vitro and in vivo animal and human studies indicate that resveratrol could help improve kidney structure and function (Hartogh & Tsiani 2019). Additionally, it could also decrease oxidative stress, inflammatory cytokine levels, fibrosis, and mesangial expansion.
To enjoy the health-promoting benefits of this delicious fruit, you can munch on a handful of grapes or opt for juices from trusted brands. Just be mindful of your intake as it is packed with sugar, containing about 16 g of sugar per 100 g.
Product To Try:
- 100% Grape Juice by Welch’s
3. Citrus Juices
The citrus family is composed of lemons, oranges, limes, grapefruits, and several other varieties and hybrids. These fruits are rich in citric acid and citrate, which can help prevent and treat kidney stones (Phillips, et al. 2015). By binding with calcium in the urine, citrate salts can inhibit the formation of calcium crystals.
Cannabis Detox: Hydration Is Key
Detoxing from THC naturally – or abstaining from weed for a time – is still the way to go. If you are about to take a urine drug test, preparing in advance guarantees successfully passing. If you use marijuana regularly, then go on a tolerance break to let your mind and body recuperate and re-orient itself. In so doing, your tolerance significantly lowers, allowing you to reclaim the high without resorting to increasing the dosage.
Of course, a period of abstinence may not be enough. You have to couple it with healthy lifestyle habits as well, including exercising, drinking enough water, and eating nutritious foods. If you want to be amply-hydrated during detoxing, you have other options aside from water – certain teas and juices. These kidney-friendly and kidney-cleansing beverages do not only contribute to the water intake but also assist in flushing out THC from the body.
For best results, stick only to established brands to ensure the purity and quality of the product. Also, refer to the packaging label, keeping an eye out on the calories, total and added sugars, and serving size, among others. Finally, consume in moderation.
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Zhang, Sen, et al. “Total Coumarins from Hydrangea Paniculata Show Renal Protective Effects in Lipopolysaccharide-Induced Acute Kidney Injury via Anti-Inflammatory and Antioxidant Activities.” Frontiers in Pharmacology, vol. 8, 2017.